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Reader Finds: February 7, 2014

Reader Finds 2-7-2014

Today we had quite a mixture of reader submissions. The four-door Polara may not be the best looking car, but it could make for an affordable driver. The Citation X-11 only gets honorable mention because of its relative rarity. The Cougar survivor looks promising and the six-cylinder Alfa is very lust worthy. The final prices may not be that appealing though. Finally, we have a couple of two-door wagons, one from Ford and one from Chevrolet. We know which one we would spring for, so how about you? Keep reading for the links to each find. Thanks guys!

  • 1966 Dodge Polara (craigslist) – Pete W
  • 1981 Chevrolet Citation X-11 (craigslist) – Pete W
  • 1966 Alfa Romeo 2600 Sprint Coupe (eBay) – Josh M
  • 1957 Ford Ranchwagon (eBay) – Josh M
  • 1967 Mercury Cougar (craigslist) – Josh M
  • 1956 Chevrolet Nomad (craigslist) – Josh M


  1. Mark E

    Would happily go for the Dodge! Boo on the Cougar ’cause of NO PRICE and the Alfa would be great with one less zero…LOL… ^_^

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  2. 88banshee

    Gotta go to South America for the Citaion X-11..

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  3. Michael Phipps

    I wouldn’t mind that Citation. Can’t help that mine was rear-ended on a wet night and spun into a lightpole in Charleston, SC.

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  4. Wayne

    I would be thirilled to find that Polara in my driveway any day. The “C” body Mopars are so over looked and so many only consider them for “donor cars” for E and B body cars which is a shame. They have tremendous “go” and will get you there in comfort rather than feeling like your butt is dragging the ground!

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  5. Charles

    The Dodge could be a great find!

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  6. Bryan Cohn

    I’m loving the Citation X-11! My mom handed down her 4 dr v6 Citation to me in 1982 when X-11’s were the rage in SCCA Showroom Stock B. How I wished she’d have bought the X-11 instead…

    For some strange reason I liked the car, if did what it was supposed to do rather well, was roomy, got decent mileage, drove well, handled ok for the era. It was a surprisingly decent GM product. Even used it to tow my first FV to races in 1986!

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  7. Rene

    Like that Dodge Polara!

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  8. Horse Radish

    the Alfa is one nice car, beautiful design.

    As for the citation ?
    it was one of those cars that were fighting to get out of last place, among Chevy Vegas, Toyota Corolla s and Ford Pintos in the cheapest for sale category 30 years ago…..no wonder it’s rare.

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  9. paul

    ALFA….. Nice bunch !!!

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  10. Jim-Bob

    The Citation is a significant car because of what it spawned. It’s architecture was responsible for millions of boring FWD GM vehicles for a decade which all had some variant of that chassis underneath them. The J car Cavalier (and it’s clones) as well as the A Body Celebrity/Century and a number of later models ( N body Grand Am, anyone?) all used this chassis underneath them as well as at least one of the available engines (Pontiac 2.5 liter “Iron Duke” or Chevy 60 degree V6). That being said, it marked the beginning of the end for exciting, interesting and easily modified RWD cars at GM.

    Now the car itself is moderately interesting, but not to the tune of $3900. Even if it is low mileage and able to be resurrected without a major component rebuild, it will still require extensive work to make it street driveable again and could end up north of $6,000 all in. I am willing to bet you could find one that is decent and running for half that. Still, it is weird enough that I hope it gets resurrected.

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  11. Ricky M, Kent, England

    Never seen a Polara before – very 60’s cool. However it has to be the Cougar for me. Love the colour and reminds me of a Matchbox model I had when I was a kid!

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  12. rancho bella

    I shouldn’t write this out loud…….but, do ya’ll know how hard it is to find a ’57 two door Ford wagon?………..although this one needs a lot of work and reading the reply to one of the questions……….I would be a little uneasy.

    I don’t know if this is a Del Rio but these are real sweet when done up correctly……two door…..dang.

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  13. Rex Kahrs Richard Member

    I’d drive a PT Cruiser before I’d be seen in that Citation. Built at probably the lowest point of GM quality.

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    • Shilo

      Good call.

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  14. Achman

    There is “patina” leather and then there is leather that is cracked, split, moldy, totally shot leather. The Alfa has the latter.

    Buyer beware, the ad has more hyperbole than a Kardashian press release, and these cars are not climbing like the GTVs.

    Not very sporty and not very luxurious, slightly ponderous, stylistically an acquired taste, this car would require serious re-commissioning to be a reliable driver. Sitting for 20 years does not bode well for an Italian car. Take one look at the door panels; now imagine the engine seals from sitting that long.

    On the other hand, you never know what you might get. At 20K if this car has no rust, an engine rebuild is not THAT expensive…

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    • paul

      This looks pretty unmolested to me with very nice pics of the bottom & every where else, even the pinch welds look very straight as with any purchase you need to see it up close.
      Yes it is no Zagato bodied TZ but it is very rare & in this shape someone will get an unusual Alfa & will do what ever they want restore the interior etc or drive like it is.

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  15. Bernie H

    I tend to agree with Achman, this is an OK Alfa but most certainly not the desirable one. At this asking price, I would expect some kind of radio to fill the dashboard hole, even if its a cheapie. You’re right-on-target with the worn out leather, its past patina. Rips and seam splits mean dried out leather and seam threads. The only way to correct this know a very good shop who deals in leather work. “Ya cant save ripped leather”!, it only rips farther. Visually the car looks really nice, a very close inspection is due.

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  16. Shilo

    Nomad would have been cool but the posting was pulled. Ford wagon is VERY cool. Rare. Cougar is the best but what price?? Alfa way too expensive. Citation very cool but bet it is SLOW. The big Polara in excellent shape, big 4 barrel, too bad it is a 4 door. Fun to look at these cars, thanks for posting.

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  17. jim s

    the dodge for sure, but all are interesting. what, 6 total, 2 from pete w,4 from josh m and 0 from me! i will have to try much harder!. thanks

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  18. GearHead Engineer

    I like the Polara. Those were the kind of cars you could pick up for $400 back in the ’80s. Would be a fun nice weather commuter for sure but with gas prices the way they are it probably isn’t likely to get used much.

    – John

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  19. GearHead Engineer

    The Cougar is nice, I haven’t seen many three speed manual Cougars. Looks like a nice car but I always figure an ad with no price means the seller wants too much for it. Kind of like the cars I see over and over again at the swap meets, with “For Sale” and the phone number professionally applied to a window.

    – John

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    • MikeW

      The first year Cougar has to be rare with the no/option standard transmission, but at the same time not very desireable. Not much fun to drive with that small v8 and shifting all the time. You know he wants a lot for it.

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  20. Alan

    @ Shilo,
    The Citation definitely would not be considered a “slow” car, even by today’s standards. You have to remember that this chassis was relatively light, as it was before the tons of sound deadening and crash-resistant structures were incorporated into builds. I had as a company car the Pontiac version Phoenix, with a lower-tuned motor and slushbox, and more cushy features. Not a ball of fire, for sure, but still not as pedestrian as the 4 cylinder versions. The X-11 had decent suspension tuning as well, for the bean-counter days at GM. I rode in one at an autocross, after having driven the Phoenix (don’t tell the boss) earlier in the day. What a difference! Would be a good deal between $2500 and 3000. IIRC, rear brakes were problematic, mostly because they were set to do such a small amount of the total work of stopping the cars.

    The Polara… I had a ’66 Plymouth Fury III with the 318, and it was a fun car for a sedan. Bought it in Abilene, KS in December 1977, on the way home from CA, when my ’66 Corvair had an engine issue. Rented a tow bar and pulled the Corvair back to Ohio with it…. Was OK because the ‘Vair could then sit in the garage while I drove the Fury. I was tough on that car, it was the whipping boy through some of my darker days. From a distance, the Polara looks like a good time for very few $, and it is ready to drive. Can’t beat that.

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  21. ConservativesDefeated

    @Rancho Bella………..

    Shoosh………..let them go on about the Citation

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    • Alan

      @ ConservativesDefeated,
      Just goes to show, not everyone is interested in the same rides, even if the values and rarity levels are significantly different.

      The first thing that popped into my mind about the ’57 was that it was refurbished backwards. For most people interested in refitting a vehicle for pretty much any use, the work is accomplished from the inside out, and underside before topside. Floor pans and wheel wells before bodywork. The ask for the Ford is partly based on its’ looking good from 20 feet. And, it could be turned into a fair driver, I guess, with that “seasoned” Earl Scheib paint job. I personally could not live for long with the surface rust on the tops of the door window openings, or the dash, especially near the windshield. And would rather see it on the fenders instead. Maybe that is just me….

      My grandmother had a ’58 2-door (sedan, or coupe? ) 352 Thunderbird V8 as this one appears to have, but with a 4 barrel. Yep, 3 on the column too. When my uncle sold it for her, it was just an old car, but now it’d be cool as hell. Pale green and white. :-) Her next car? Heh, that is a story unto itself!

      Like 0
      • MikeW

        It states it has the 292 v8 , that would be the stock Y block and not a FE like the 352.

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    • rancho bella

      I got it……….the cracking wise/

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  22. ConservativesDefeated


    Absolutely true. I was sort of cracking wise……..I’m sorry but a “modern” car like the Citation or the others that appeal to a demographic younger than I am doesnt cut it for me.

    As for the Ford Wagon, my crack in no way endorsed ts present price or its condition. To me its a 1500.00 car. Yes there is rust everywhere….the dash rust is odd.

    But prices are just crazy. Too many people ith more money than sense I guess.

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    • Alan

      I get what you say. And we’re probaby from the same demographic. I’m from early in the “Boom”. But to me, performance is performance; that alone increases desirability, and it can be found in some unlikely and obscure places.

      Funny that a car 33 years old can be considered “modern” but there it is…. All is relative. My sons would think of the Citation as at least “vintage”. It was a new car when I joined the SCCA, and I was far past being a kid by then.

      The prices? Nutty.

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    • Jim-Bob

      The thing is, the world has moved on. Cars that were once plentiful are now scarce and even common bodies are now seen as a viable way to get the style of an era. As far as the 80’s go, people like me grew up on cars like the Fox body Mustang and GM G body. While we may have seen 1950’s or 60’s cars as cool, they were not common cars for us and so we have very little connection to them. In the end, the entry level enthusiast plays with what is common for them in their teens and twenties. Thus, these cars will continue to appreciate as more and more X’ers reclaim parts of their youth. Most of us are far more comfortable with electronic fuel injection that carburators since most of our lives have been spent troubleshooting EFI. Myself I am comfortable with either and have cars with both kinds of fuel systems. However, if I could choose to have only one type it would be EFI, not carburators. It’s less problematic and I have had cars and trucks with 200-300k miles on their EFI systems with all the original sensors and injectors still intact, working properly and not tripping a fault code. I’ve never had a carb that was that maintenance free.

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  23. ConservativesDefeated

    Seeing as I started out with a ’50 Packard in 1970…and I thought it was from another century practically, it is all relative. I get the performance arguement ..but its STILL a Citation. :)

    When “our” demographic finally gets around to wheezing its last wheeze, I’m sure someone somewhere will be crowing about the desireability of a 1995 Buick Park Avenue.

    It just wont be me!

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  24. Dolphin Member

    The Alfa 2600 Sprint Coupe is a very desirable Alfa, far rarer than the GTV, and far cheaper than the 2600 Spider. This is for going down the Autostrada in style, not for challenging a GTV or 914 in the twisties. It’s a GT car, larger and heavier than the GTV, and much harder to find parts for, but if someone likes elegant European coupes this could be a way to get one for fairly cheap money.

    This Alfa looks terrific, exactly like you would expect one presented as a low-mile So Cal car to look. The underside looks like the car has had use, but no abuse or neglect. So do the body, engine bay, and most of the interior. It will need some work / replacement of the leather, but that is far easier and less costly than any serious rust repair and paint, which many Alfas of this vintage need.

    This is a true GT Alfa that you would be hard pressed to find in this condition, especially on somewhere like eBay. I’m surprised once again that a car like this is on eBay instead of in one of RM’s auctions that specialize in European sportscars. If it checks out as the low-mile, original-paint car that it’s claimed to be it could a good buy for someone who wants an original vintage Alfa coupe.

    Like 0
  25. That Guy

    Interesting day. My one and only brand-new car was an ’82 Citation X-11, and my parents drove a pair of ’66 Polara retired cop cars for a decade plus. I briefly owned my mom’s before deciding I couldn’t afford to rebuild it on a college student’s budget.

    The X-11 was about the best sporty American coupe of its day, which isn’t saying much. It did handle well and was quick for the era. I did my very first autocross in it and ended up placing 3rd out of 10 or so in my class, so the car made up for my novice-level driving. But the build quality was pretty awful. And the rear brakes would lock solid in anything vaguely resembling a panic stop. I haven’t seen an X-11 on the road or even seen one for sale in ages. This car is worth saving if only because they have to be virtually extinct now.

    Our family’s Polaras both had 426 Wedge engines, which I’ve since come to realize must have been a special-order arrangement for police cars because it wasn’t on the standard option list in 1966. They were hugely powerful and fast, with stiff suspension and power brakes but non-assisted manual steering. I deeply regret not keeping my mom’s car, but with 235,000 miles it was totally worn out and I couldn’t afford to rebuild it.

    This car seems like a good buy at $4K.

    Like 0

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